A New Chinese Attraction in Malls: Shared Shopping Boyfriends Posted by Ayana on Apr 15, 2018 in Shopping
Chinese malls have found a new way to attract customers, particularly female customers. They offer a new service: a “shared boyfriend” for rental (共享男友gòngxiǎng nányǒu). For merely one Yuan, a visitor can rent a male shopping companion.
共享 gòngxiǎng = to share
男友 nányǒu = boyfriend
In January, a vast crowd filled a shopping mall in Foshan city, Guangdong province. People came all the way from Guangzhou, the capital city of the province, to participate in the event. Four guys at an average height of 180 cm, wearing suits and leather shoes, were displayed in four full size frames. Enthusiastic customers were already lining up before the boys even showed up. Many girls wanted to be accompanied by a “shared boyfriend”. Among them was Xiaozhang (小张) who said, “我看这位帅哥挺好看的” (wǒ kàn zhè wèi shuàigē tǐng hǎokàn de, I think these guys are really good looking).
Watch the customers’ excitement in this video:
The boys offered personal services to the renters: they help choose clothes, carry the bags, take pictures, hold a conversation, and even sit with the girl for a drink or a bite. Their service price is pretty cheap – only one Yuan for one hour – but they attract many customers to the mall that day, and increase the sales of the various mall businesses. They hope to launch similar events in the future, said one of the workers.
“gòngxiǎng nányǒu” de huódòng xīyǐn zhòngduō gùkè.
The “shared boyfriend” event attracts many customers.
On March 8th, during International Women’s Day, shopping malls across the country offer the escort of a “shared boyfriend” for women at all ages. A mall in Jinhua, a prefecture-level city in Zhejiang province, placed four handsome men in four pink frames decorated with hearts. For only one Yuan, any girl could rent one of these guys to loiter around with for thirty minutes. They could shop with the men, drink or eat, but physical contact was not allowed.
One of these “shared boyfriend” was Zhang Yuxiang (张宇翔), a fitness trainer from Jinhua. It was his first time to work as a “shared boyfriend”, and he seems to enjoy the experience. He said that he met a lot of lovely girls, joined them on their shopping, play with them dancing video games, and some even talked to him about personal issues.
Sānbā jié dàngtiān, duō jiā shāngchǎng tuīchū gòngxiǎng nányǒu péi gòuwù.
On March 8th, many shopping centers launched events of “shared boyfriend”.
Several shopping centers in Beijing arranged similar events during International Women’s Day, but those events were less successful. Beijing female customers are apparently more shy, or less impressed. One of the “shared boyfriends” from Beijing, a university student who works in odd jobs as a model, accompanied four women that day. Only one of them was single, and they merely wanted his help in shopping and carrying the bags. A few customers explained: 跟个陌生男人逛街限制时间，还不如跟小姐妹逛街来得痛快。 (Gēn gè mòshēng nánrén guàngjiē xiànzhì shíjiān, hái bùrú gēn xiǎo jiěmèi guàngjiē láidé tòngkuài, shopping with a stranger for limited time is not fun as shopping with your girlfriends.)
Handsome guys holding flowers in Beijing didn’t cause any excitement among female customers, but in other cities it still seems to work. This April, Handan city in Hebei province also joined the new trend, and offered the service of “shared boyfriend”. Four good-looking guys in suits and bow ties attract much attention, and many customers lined up to take their picture, and to rent their service.
商场 shāngchǎng = shopping center
活动 huódòng = activity
吸引 xīyǐn = to attract
顾客gùkè = customer
购物 gòuwù = go shopping
逛街 guàngjiē = go shopping
陪 péi = assist, go with
帅 shuài = handsome
陌生人 mòshēngrén = stranger
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